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24 Jul

News and Analyses, A Foreign Perspective

Hürriyet Daily News

13,165 detained over failed coup attempt: Erdogan

ANKARA

A total of 13,165 people have been detained over the July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, as he commented on the ongoing operations against members of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) says was behind the failed attempt.

“Some 8,838 among the detained are soldiers, 2,101 are judges and prosecutors, 1,485 are police officers, 52 are local authorities and 689 are civilians,” Erdogan said in a speech broadcast in squares around Turkey, while adding that 123 among the jailed 5,863 individuals were generals, 282 were high-ranking police officers and 1,559 were judges and prosecutors.

“The interrogations of the others are ongoing,” he also said.

Saying that a total of 246 people were killed, of whom 62 were police officers, 179 were civilians and five were soldiers, Erdogan noted that 2,186 people were also wounded.

“A total of 934 schools, 109 dormitories, 15 universities, 104 foundations, 35 health institutions, 1,125 associations and 19 unions belonging to FETÖ have been closed down. Their assets were seized by the state,” he added.

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Amid allegations of torture, relatives wait anxiously for news as Turkey’s justice system struggles to keep up with arrests

Government supporters take to the streets

Erdo?an supporters in Istanbul’s Taksim Square were told to take to the streets to defend democracy Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP/Getty Images

In the marble corridors of the Istanbul Palace of Justice, dozens of people press against a metal barrier in the hope of catching a glimpse of a family member – a son, husband or brother – detained in the aftermath of the bloody coup attempt.

As a file of handcuffed soldiers is led in, the crowd surges forward. One woman shouts the name of her brother before he vanishes behind a courtroom door. When a lawyer makes her way towards the crowd, she is immediately surrounded and showered with questions: will there be a decision? Who was detained, and who released?

Since the coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July that left at least 265 people dead and more than 1,000 wounded, tens of thousands of military personnel, judges, prosecutors and civil servants have been detained or suspended from their jobs as part of the investigation into possible plotters. The Turkish government immediately fingered US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, a long-time ally of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan now turned foe, as the mastermind of the attempted military takeover.

On Saturday his nephew, Muhammed Sait Gülen, was detained in the northeastern Turkish city of Erzurum and is to be taken to Ankara for questioning…………..

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Nearly two-thirds favor nationwide bans on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AR-15, according to recent poll

Handguns in trash can

Despite the support for tighter gun laws, many Americans oppose banning handguns or making gun manufacturers or sellers liable if guns are later used in a crime. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP

Americans favor tougher gun laws by margins that have grown wider after a number of mass shootings in recent months, but they also are pessimistic that change will happen any time soon, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents expressed support for stricter laws, with the majority favoring nationwide bans on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AR-15 and on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding 10 or more bullets.

The percentage of Americans who want such laws is the highest since the AP-GfK poll started asking the question in 2013, about 10 months after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

High-profile shootings also appear to have taken a toll on Americans’ sense of safety. Strong majorities of those polled expressed some degree of concern that they or a relative will be a victim of gun violence or a mass shooting.

“If you live in the United States in these days right now, you have to be concerned,” said Milonne Ambroise, a 63-year-old administrative assistant from Decatur, Georgia. “You could be on the street somewhere. You could be at a shopping mall thinking there will be a mass shooting and you will be in the middle of it. You can’t not think about it.”

Ambroise, a native of Haiti who moved to the US nearly 50 years ago, said she was now much more alert and on guard whenever she is in public……………

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US secretary of state traveling to Laos to meet with south-east Asian countries, following the 12 July international court ruling denying China’s claims

Secretary of State John Kerry

The US secretary of state will also discuss economics and trade, efforts to combat climate change, counter-terrorism and North Korea during his meetings. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP

Secretary of State John Kerry will urge south-east Asian countries in meetings in Laos next week to explore diplomatic ways to ease tensions with China over the South China Sea, following an international court ruling denying China’s claims.

Kerry travels to Laos’ capital Vientiane on Monday for meetings of foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of South East Asia Nations (ASEAN), where tensions between China and several members, in particular the Philippines and Vietnam, is expected to dominate talks. Laos has close political and economic ties with China.

“The secretary will reinforce our hope that … the parties will now turn to constructively engaging in a effort to find diplomatic ways to peacefully interact in the South China Sea,” a senior US official told reporters ahead of the trip.

The annual ASEAN gathering will be the first since the 12 July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague in a claim brought by the Philippines that China has no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea.

China has angrily rejected the verdict and pledged to pursue claims that conflict with those of several smaller neighbors. China has also blamed the US for stirring up trouble in the South China Sea, a vital waterway through which more than $5tn of trade moves annually.

Citing international rules, the US has conducted freedom-of-navigation patrols close to Chinese-held islands where China has been bolstering its military presence, which has exacerbated tensions……………..

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  • Law enforcement and loved ones join memorial for Brad Garafola
  • ‘My deputy went down fighting,’ says sheriff
Baton Rouge funeral

The casket of Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputy Brad Garafola is carried by police honor guard. Photograph: Jonathan Bachman/Reuters

Hundreds of loved ones and fellow law enforcement said farewell to the 45-year-old sheriff’s deputy, as the funeral procession moved past the convenience store outside which he was killed.

Garafola, a father of four children aged from seven to 21, served in the East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s office for 24 years.

A self-professed black separatist shot six officers last Sunday, wounding three as he targeted the men with “chilling, sheer brutality”, law enforcement authorities said afterwards.

Two of the three wounded officers have been released from the hospital, one after reconstructive surgery on an arm. The third remained in critical condition. The gunman was shot dead by a police Swat team.

Garafola took cover behind a dumpster when the shooting began, but was killed after he went to the aid of two Baton Rouge police officers – Montrell Jackson, 32, and Matthew Gerald, 41 – who also died in the attack.

Garafola’s boss, the East Baton Rouge sheriff, Sid Gautreaux, described to reporters how he could see Garafola on surveillance video, firing at the gunman as bullets hit the concrete around him……………..

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